Nature, Tooth, Claw, Red in, etc.

While I was gadding about in Embra, it seems there’s been a murrrder in the veg plot, which I’m rather sorry I missed.

feathers on the grass

Exhibit A: A sad pile of feathers

Closer examination of the scene of the crime revealed a little bit more about the identity of the victim:

pheasant's foot

It seems we are down one pheasant (and if that photo doesn’t convince you that birds are just tiny flying dinosaurs – and how cool is that? – then I’m not sure what will).

It leaves us no clearer about the culprit though. The position of the feathers, under the electricity wire, originally made me think it was a sparrowhawk as they like to retreat to a handy perch to pluck their supper, but I’m not sure a sparrowhawk could take a pheasant. I’m not sure a buzzard would be able to either, unless something had killed it for it first. We’ve not seen any foxes around, which doesn’t mean there aren’t any – it’s only urban foxes that like to stroll around in broad daylight. Then again, if we had foxes on the prowl would we have as many hares as we do?

It’s a mystery – and clearly, it’s also a sign that I need to be spending less time gadding about and more time at home, keeping an eye on my own back yard.

This is a programme I can entirely get behind.

7 Responses to Nature, Tooth, Claw, Red in, etc.

  1. Charles says:

    How about Goshawk or Red Kite? We had a similar pile of feathers when we got back from Perthshire but no dramatic foot. Our victim was a black bird and I have seen a Sparrow hawk patrolling the garden recently. As we have been here 4 years and before this year I have only seen one so I am quite chuffed

  2. Andy in Germany says:

    One thing about the “Birds are tiny dinosaurs”: I can accept the theory but if it’s evolution and Pheasants were the winners, how thick were the dinosaurs?

  3. ballsofwool says:

    “How thick must the dinosaurs have been” love it!

  4. Charles says:

    Actually if you have ever met a Partridge you have to wonder whether evolution is all it’s cracked up to be.

  5. montfleury says:

    Could well be a fox. You are in goshawk country though – is the breastbone still around? Gos are so strong they take little chips out of it as they strip the meat.

  6. disgruntled says:

    A goshawk would be amazing but I’ve never seen one around … I shall hunt out the breastbone though,
    On the evolution front – most of the pheasants round here are likely captive bred and have been selected mainly to be easy to shoot, so I don’t think we can blame evolution for them.

  7. Charles says:

    Someone tried to create a driven duck hunt when I was in Alabama as a child. The ducks were captive bread and too tame, when they were driven off a high ramp to fly down to a lake, over the waiting guns, they simply jumped to the floor and waddled up to the guns to ask for food. Even the country dwelling men of the Deep South did not see this as very sporting, the reporter from the local TV station who covered the opening nearly died laughing.

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